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Wednesday, June 11, 2008

A Right-Livelihood Land Project in the North East (UK)

An aerial photo of Buddhafield's new land at Frog Mill, in the Dartmoor National ParkA group is forming in the FWBO's Newcastle Sangha to explore the development of a new land-based community and work project informed by the Dharma. The instigator of this group, Andy Parkes, writes:

“What do I mean by ‘A Right-Livelihood Land Project’? And he answers –

“A group of people brought together by specific common ideals, particularly:
• Dharma (movement towards an integrated lifestyle with more harmony between livelihood, community and Buddhist practice)
• Environmental Ethics (movement towards increased ecological sustainability)
• A wish to develop the above, by living and/or working on some land together

“A project like this is group-led and for that reason it is not possible to be specific about its nature. For example, we might buy, borrow or rent land. We might set up a charity, a co-operative or many varying businesses on the land. We may or may not live on the land, and we may each have different levels of input into this project. Personally, I would like to give my attention to the Dharma, growing trees, organic food, greenwood working, music, teaching, building a low-impact dwelling for myself and others, and being part of a community I can give to and receive from. We have different skills and will each bring our own emphasis.

Why ‘A Right-Livelihood Land Project’
“Dharma is precious! It feeds us, and points the way to spiritual freedom. Spiritual development and ecological sustainability require a sustained commitment that is often not understood and resisted by our society. Keeping our ethical precepts, preparing ourselves for practice is more challenging when the way in which we support ourselves is replete with subtle (and sometimes not so subtle) contradictions to our beliefs. Land is precious in as much as, it feeds us and unobstructed access to it can lead to a high degree of practical freedom, resulting in less consumerism, more sharing and a responsible relationship to the earth. With practical freedom comes the ability to develop an integrated lifestyle, in which all of our activities can be conducive to spiritual development (Dharma), supporting ourselves in an ecologically sustainable way, and supporting our Buddhist (Sangha) and local community.

“Initially the group will be about getting to know each other and our interests in light of this project, and to see if and how we want to work together as a group. The timescale for developing this project is over months and years. Consolidating the group may take a long time, so don’t be immediately discouraged if you are interested but feel unprepared.”

If you are interested in the project but live outside Newcastle, please feel free to contact Andy at:

The photograph shows Buddhafield's new land at Frog Mill, in the Dartmoor National Park.

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